One of my favourite childhood memories (ever) is going to Magic Mountain on the Gold Coast, with my family and visiting the magician's museum. It was a fascinating tribute to old-style magicians like the great Harry Houdini and I was saddened when this quirky theme park closed down a few years later. It left the mountain much less magical and much more full of apartments blocks.
Fast forward many, many years and I heard at dinner that Sydney has its own Museum of Magical Arts. Hey presto! For those in the know, forgive me for my ignorance and for those who weren't aware, I just had to share this news with you and the Sydney Mums Group readers.
Like some kind of secret society, the Museum is located within the secret walls and corridors of The Magicians Cabaret Theatre. It's the ONLY Australian museum of magic, consisting of a library of magic, a collection of magical paraphernalia and illusions. It's dedicated to preserving the craft of magic and the devotion of magicians to their craft and the wonder this craft inspires.
Enter the secret world of a magician and marvel at unrevealed plans of illusions, magic tricks and magic shows, films, drawings, patents, letters, literature on magic, inventions by magicians, programs, posters and costumes. It's like your own VIP tour of a magician's back stage sanctum.
And you know how I mentioned the iconic Houdini before? This Sydney-side museum offers an exhibit of a prison cell similar to the one that Houdini escaped from! Too good.
Have I convinced you to take your own budding magicians for a tour? If not, how about a very atmospheric Dusk Tour (I'd recommend this one for adults), with a glass of wine followed by a 90-min tour of the museum by night? The magician guide may ask you to jump into a trap door or a secret device. Are you ready for the dare?
And if your budding Houdini is growing out of his or her toy magic kits and wants to explore the art further, why not consider the special gift of a Magic Lesson at $150 per hour? It includes access to the magician's stage and back stage. Recommended for older kids and teens (or husbands!).
When it comes to museums, Sydney is spoiled for choice, so it's always fantastic to discover a new collection, with family-friendly potential. I would not be taking your toddlers to this but it's certainly one to keep in mind for inquisitive young primary schoolers and older kids.
And don't forget to join the conversation and leave a comment with your review of this attraction...
What you need to know for planning your trip:
Admission: via guided tours with a magician (book online here)
Cost for a 1hr guided tour: Adults $40.98 / Children (4 -12 years) $27.38